Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frankly my dear....2013 can kiss my ass!!

Well it's that time again.

I told myself I would start this days ago, and just haven't found the time.
But I'm sitting now, because I want to get this done.

In past letters, I have loved revisiting all the things I got to experience that year. The smiles and laughs, the picture worthy moments, the new people and memories we had just made in those 365 days.

But this year, this year was a black hole, in which I don't want to revisit.
I will...because this is tradition, and I will honor the tradition I started among my friends. I do know, that after I post this, only a few days will pass, and I'll be able to read my friends' happy moments from the previous year.

Well this year tested my patience, my faith in whatever, or whoever might be out there, and more than anything, it tested my sanity.

The year started off with me almost losing my marriage. Which...for anyone who knows me, knows how much that means to me. My husband is my best friend, and to hear him say the words "I don't love you anymore" "I'm done" stabbed deeper than any would I had been inflicted over my 30 years of life.
I'd go from mad, angry and no tears, not talking to anyone, to a blubbery, on my knees, begging for another chance, mess. I didn't eat for three weeks, and I didn't want to go anywhere. I've never felt so...empty.
This went on for a few months, until one day, something snapped, and he realized, how much he loved his little girls. The girls...not me. But that was enough for him to stay and want to work on us, and I would take whatever I could get at that point.
My husband suffers from a horrible depression, only his condition is hard to handle, because he doesn't "believe" in mental illnesses. He believes everything is circumstantial. He was depressed and unhappy, therefore, it must be with me.
We had happy days here and there, going to the Muse Concert, taking a day trip to Mt.Hood with Guinevere to play in the snow.
Eventually things started getting better.
It was a waiting game for our tax check to come in the mail, because with that, we were going to get our own apartment with the girls. And I couldn't wait.
I applied at a couple different places, and the first place to say "Yes" was this fine little place we still live in.

We moved in and everything was going good. Vince and I were talking, and open about everything we were thinking. The girls were happy. We live right next to a park, and there is a HUGE grassy area right outside the apartment they can run in.

That's when we got some bad news. Vince was fired. He didn't do anything wrong really. One manager told him one thing, and the other manager claimed Vince was lying, so thanks to Oregon's No Fault policy....he was out of work.

We applied for TANF and Unemployment.

Well...TANF only get's approved if Unemployment does. The story his former employer was telling, was far from the truth, but they must've sounded sincere, because U.I. took their side and denied his claim.

The next 7 months were a blur.

All I remember is stomach aches, worries, crying myself to sleep,night after night, pep talks from everyone. Those that stuck around that is. I had a few friends dip to the back burner, because I had become a real life Eeyore.
Never seeing the light side of things, always dreading the next month, week, day......minute.
I had to put away my pride and ask for help. From friends...which was the hardest.
I called charities every month to get on waiting lists, try to be the 10th caller, on the 5th, be treated like scum because I couldn't provide for my children.
Our bills would be days away from being shut off. No power, no phone, no job searching. No cable, no internet, no job hunting. No Heat. We had the stereotypical Ramen dinner several nights in a row.

Vince found temp jobs here and there, but the temp agency he was working for....wouldn't give him permanent jobs, because well....they had a car payment to make and giving him a permanent position would mean less commission in their pockets.

After the fifth time of him being told by an employer "We want you to come back, we like the way you work, you can have a job here"....and then never hearing from them again, I started looking for work for Vince myself.

Vince started feeling deflated. Like he was less than a man, he couldn't find work, he couldn't provide for his family. No matter what I, or anyone said, didn't make him feel better.

It was the hardest thing I've been through....since the marriage shaker upper.

And just when we thought the last cloud was going to roll over us, we had a breakthrough....

Vince got a job!

It's an amazing job, with amazing benefits and amazing pay. It's....amazing. Although....the mean manager, is being...well...mean, and Vince has to make it two months and he'll be secure, under Union watch, and have someone to back him up! So the next two months will be extremely nerve wracking, but if we made it through all we did this year, the next two months, shouldn't be too hard.

After we found out he got the job, we realized we didn't have rent, and it was due in less than a week. So I did something I've never done before. I swallowed my pride, and put out a public Facebook post asking for anyone to help us get together rent, so we can fight this last fight, and be ok.

So many of our friends stepped up. $20 here, and $100 there, and right before Christmas mind you, we had rent in a matter of days. It was awesome, to know that many people are there for you, and care about your and your well being.

Then the good news kept rolling in...

I had taken Riley to the ER for a fever a few weeks back. The nurse took a liking to us, knowing the situation we were in and randomly one day called me....asked if her and the other nurses in the Pediatric Ward could "Adopt" our family for Christmas. They asked what the girls liked, needed, wanted.

Christmas Eve there was a knock at our door. 4 nurses and 4 men walked in, each carrying a handful of gifts, food, blankets....it was overwhelming....I cried!
They then turned around and went back outside to get the SECOND CAR LOAD.

The girls had an awesome Christmas morning, stockings to dump out, boxes wrapped in paper to tear open, Vince and I even got a few things, Gift cards mainly...but we've been buying things for ourselves with them. We even got to go out to dinner at Shairs, after visiting Peacock Lane the other night.

All in all, we are still strugling financially, we aren't counting our chicken's before they hatch, making sure we take into acount, Vince's job could be gone at any moment. He just has to make it two months. And boy do I hope these two months fly by.

The girls are getting so big, makes me cry to think how fast it goes.

Riley is a little monster with an attitude all her own. She's exploring and learning so fast. She'll sit and have a mini conversation with you. It's mostly in Riley lingo, but we manage to keep up.
She has taken a liking to cooking. If I'm in the kitchen she pushes a chair up to the counter, and asks
"What you makin'?"  And she'll want to help with whatever she can.
She got a play kitchen from the awesome staff at Legacy Childrens hospital, so she's been "making" (it's what she calls cooking lol) all kinds of stuff for us to eat! And of course she has Sissy helping by being the waitress lol

And Guin...that kid is one awesome daughter. She's patient, and kind. She gives her last bit of money to people on the streets that need it more than her. She's understanding when things don't go as planned...as they have this last year. She loves writing, and making up stories and little movies with her friends, which I remember doing all the time when I was her age. She wants to learn everything, and soak up all the knowledge she can. She's so artistic. She'll sit and draw new clothes designs, and she's gotten into this Rainbow Loom that's all the rage with the kids. She's a great friend to her friends, and just wants to see everyone happy!

In closing, I can say, although this year was horrid. You learn something from going through something like that.
Our little family that was slowly drifting apart, is stronger than ever. I have back the man I married, with all the light inside him, with the confidence he hid away for so long. The man that says sweet things to me all day, and will just call to say he's thinking about me. He loves the hell out of his girls, and I can't help but smile the biggest smile ever, when I hear them playing, laughing, and giggling. I love seeing his face light up when he comes home from work to a chorus of "DADDY'S HOME" at which point he's tackled with hugs.

We now realize what we had in front of us all along. Support, love, companionship.
On some level I'm thankful for this year. Through the heartache, tears, and stress, came a whole, loving, renewed family unit!

Now lets hope 2014 can bring in way more awesome-ness than 2013 did.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hello, My name is Courtney, and I'm a nerd.....and damn proud of it!

What I'm gathering, is the challenge here consists of simultaneously proving my “nerdy-ness”, while showcasing some writing ability. Well...challenge accepted.

For the record, I'm not sure if I'm a nerd or a geek. I've done extensive research (surfed google) on the definitions and keep getting conflicting answers. I know one is extremely computer savvy, knows all about megabits, mother boards and CPU's. Everyone knows one, and they are always willing to fix your computer if you get a virus. They do this to prove their worth.

And the other is generally socially awkward. Finds friends in comic book characters, Tv shows, and can more or less relate with a fictional person, than someone IRL. They are also proficient in video games, and are usually part of what's called a “Fandom”.

Seeing as how I know nothing about the inner workings of computers, just mainly how to use them. When mine breaks down I tend to cry, because I have no idea how to fix it. That's when my brother comes to the rescue.

I'm leaning towards the latter. I can be socially awkward (in fact, I was medically diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder...so I'm pretty sure that should bag me some bonus points!) My best friends live in Sunnydale, CA, Gotham City and Metropolis. I even know a couple guys who don't have a set address. They grew up in Kansas, but now travel around the Country in a bad ass 1967 Chevy Impala.

When I finish a book sometimes, I tend to start it over when I start to miss the people. Plus...with your face page deep in a book, the weirdo's on public transport tend to leave you alone. See...my fictional friends have my back!

I was 10, when I first discovered I was “different”. The kids on my block were out playing, in the fresh air ( I know....can you believe that nonsense). I had just got done reading the latest Goosebumps, and I was looking for something to do, so I tried channel surfing. The TV lit up, and there, on FOX, were the people I would grow up with for the next 9 years of my life. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
The virus...bug, or whatever we get when we're “bitten” was strong. In the following years my room slowly grew into a shrine. “I want to believe” posters on my walls, cartoon-y alien pillows adorned my bed and if I could find a T-Shirt with a giant green X on it, I was sporting it the next day. And you best believe I busted my butt doing any chore I could get my hands on, just to earn some extra allowance to support my addiction. I was even on a first name basis with the guy at the flea market who always had the VHS sets. When the movie came out in theaters, I was the first person in line on opening day. I was also the only person in line on opening day....but at least I got some bragging rights! And when the series was over I was so sad. Really. It was pathetic. I'm pretty sure I wore all black and mourned for weeks.

X-Files opened the door to so many other TV shows that I fell in love with over the years, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I still, to this day have “Buffy-a-thons”, my daughter didn't play “Barbie and Ken” she played “Buffy and Spike” Cause she's kind of awesome and a fan of the show as well! I got “WWBD?” permanently ink'd on my wrist to commemorate my love for not only the show, but to be able to proudly sport my nerd pride on my sleeve....or ya know, wrist. Plus it helps me remember that Buffy would "Kick Ass" when things get rough! It's like a self help tape....on me.

Didn't want you to think I was making stuff up!

I'm a Whovian, I love Supernatural, Star Trek:TNG, Angel, Firefly, I could keep going. But I won't...you're welcome.

I'm not just a TV girl though....I love my Xbox (unless you're a Playstation fan. Then please replace “Xbox” with “Playstation”. Thank you) I have spent, probably years of my life fighting zombie abominations in Resident Evil. Searching for someone, or something in the fog of Silent Hill, I am a horrible shot, and usually my death count is higher than my kill count....by a lot, but I LOVE playing C.O.D. and Halo...and people love playing me, cause hey...I bring up averages! I'm a giver.

I would love to say I read comics growing up, but really as a kid, I didn't appreciate them. Now as an adult, I love them. I have read the Sandman collection (Because Neil Gaiman is practically a God), I read Walking Dead before it was cool....no not really, I'm just trying to impress you. Sorry. But I have read it, so that counts right?! Watchmen, Umbrealla Academy. And yes even some Archie, Betty and Veronica.

I don't know what else I can say. If I got picked for this amazing gig, I honestly don't know what I would write about. Anything? Everything! I only hope if I was able to do one thing just now, it was showing you my passion when it comes to things I love. I'm a lover of everything, but a master of nothing. I'm at home with my fellow nerds. I look forward to Rose City and Emerald City Comicon every year. I love seeing the “Talent”, talking to their fans. You generally have to pay money to get them to talk to you, but really, I'm ok with that, cause stalking is illegal, so it's a win/win for me. I get to talk to people I love, and I don't have to spend time behind bars!

So now after this transcript of my life, I've come to the conclusion....I'm definitely a nerd.

Side note: All nerd stuff aside. Writing has always been an aspiration of mine. I don't feel right unless I have a composition book and million pens in my bag when I leave the house, just in case inspiration strikes. When I was 8, I found my parents type writer and discovered a new friend. My very first story ever was about a little star who traveled the sky trying to figure out why he wasn't shining....in the end, he had forgotten to pay his electric bill! See...even then I was witty!
I loved all the worlds I could create, the stories just came pouring out of my fingertips. And the other day my 9 year old came to me and wanted to read me a story she wrote. It was actually really good! I can't tell you the excitement I felt for her at that moment. Knowing she'll get to create and discover new people, and worlds just like I have.

So that's me in a nutshell. I would LOVE the opportunity to be a part of this new empire! To be able to write, not only about a subject I love, but that has also gotten me through some hard times in my life, is the chance of a lifetime for me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Recurrent Apparition (Writing Challenge #2 September/October)


The Recurrent Apparition
By Courtney Scott

23 times in the past year...since last November.
That's how many times I've seen her.
It's always during the day when the sun is shining just right through my windows. She's pretty. But the plain kind of pretty.
She's always in a different part of the house when she appears.
Sitting quietly on the window seat, lost in a book.
In the kitchen, preparing some sort of meal.
Walking into the bedroom talking on her phone.
She seems happy.
I've tried to talk to her, but she can't hear me. Sometimes I swear she's looking right at me, but I know deep down she can't see me. We both reside in this house, unaware of each others existence. I don't want to tell her to leave, this is her home too.
It's always a welcome site when she appears. It's nice to know, one way or another you're not really alone. I've lost all my friends, my family. It's just me now. But knowing I get to see her from time to time, keeps my spirits up. It gets lonely in this place.
So I'll stay quiet. ….Living in peace with this person. If you can call it living.
I'm dead. I know I am. I remember the day well, one second I was driving in the rain, I lost control, there was screeching tires, and breaking glass. Then I was back here. I watched my loved ones pack up my things. I heard the sound of the “For Sale” sign being placed in my yard. And then I was alone. Until...her.
For some reason I'm stuck in this plane of existence. But seeing glimpses of the living, seeing the girl who now lives in my house, is somewhat comforting. Maybe someday I'll be able to move on, until then, I'll keep count of the times I catch glimpses into the world I used to live in. I'll sit here and wait for number 24.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The sounds outside two windows (Writing Challenge #1)

A good friend of mine West, decided for fun to put out a writing challenge for his friends. A story with the title "The sound outside two windows"  I haven't been able to write in forever, because when I'm stressed, my muse goes on vacation. My brain is too much for it to handle. So when he first set this in motion, I thought "I'll never be able to do that", but tonight, something sparked, I pulled out my laptop, started typing and before I knew it, a story was born. It's nice to know the writer I KNOW is in there, can still come out from time to time. So here is my submission for the story challenge! 

The sound outside two windows
by Courtney Scott

I sit in my room, from day to day. It's dark and lonely, sometimes scary. There's two windows in this room with me. But there is no scenery. It's a gray day outside, every day. Shadows dance. Can't tell when it's day, or when it's night. It's as though the shades are always drawn. You see, when they built my house, they forgot to put in glass panes, but instead put in shutters.
The benefit of not seeing out my windows, is my heightened sense of hearing. I can hear everything, from the lightest pin drop, to a plane flying overhead. I imagine it cutting through the clouds, if I only knew what clouds really looked like. I imagine they are wondrous things. Big, immense. But what is big...when you have nothing to compare it to?
I can hear people outside my windows everyday. I can hear deep into their soul. Most people are ugly. Cruel. Spiteful. I can't understand why they are loved so. Maybe it's because I can't see them. Maybe I can hear what they really are. I can hear the monsters that lay deep beneath the make up and fake facade people put on.

Like the woman who even though, looks like a wonderful mother on the outside. Has several children, who smile, and laugh. She always seems happy and composed. But maybe that's because underneath the smiles and composure, is pure hatred. Abuse. She takes her stress out on her children, who sit night after night, hungry, because mom is out on a date, drinking drinks with strange men, rather than feeding her children, who are fending for themselves on leftover Ramen and rice. They don't know their fathers, they don't really know their mother. But they know the punishment they will face if they let on the life they lead behind closed doors. So they put on the mask for the world...the mask, I cannot see.

Or the working father, who has a wife and kids. He comes home from work every night, picks his kids up, spins them around, and kisses his wife with the most intense passion. I'm sure he looks the part, suit, nice car, white picket fence. But underneath all that bullshit, lies a gambler. He leaves work on a lunch break to find any way he can to spend his savings, his wife's nest egg, his children's collage fund. Horse races, video poker football games. It's almost all gone. Pretty soon they will be homeless, selling prized possessions just to eat, or keep basic necessities in their life. He's selfish, and has a problem, and rather than seek help, he seeks another way to get rich quick.

And the darkest of all, is the man down the hall. He's a sweet old man, People always say hello, asking him how his day is going, making sure to make small chat with him, because he is all alone. But what they don't know is how evil this man is. I can hear it, I can hear the demon deep within him. I can hear his computer keys clicking away at night, searching for his prey. He pretends to be a friend when a young one needs someone to listen. He'll listen. He'll be everything you want him to be. He'll tell them they need to get away, he'll help them. And before you know it, they are brought to his home, late at night. He steals their childhood away from them. Takes pictures of the innocent faces to trade like baseball cards among him and his monster friends. Makes them face this demon alone. I can hear the cries, but I can't do anything about it. For I cannot see where the cries are coming from. Only shadows and darkness. But still people say Hello, they wave, he smiles, his gruesome, evil smile.

I have almost but lost my faith in humanity. People are dark, selfish creatures. There was once a time when out my windows I could hear genuine laughing. Kindness. I'm almost glad I'm trapped inside this dark room, I would rather spend my life in here, then out there with the monsters.

There are a few people left on this planet that help keep my faith in humanity alive.

Like the case worker who came to the house of the abused children. They were able to put down their Ramen, grab the tattered teddy bears that have given them security during these hard times. She came in like a super hero, and took them to their Grandmother's house. A house full of love, caring, and cookies. A house where the color returned to their little faces. A house where they were embraced in hugs and safety, instead of fear and hate. The lady was “only doing her job”, but I could hear in her voice, the genuine concern, and care she had for these children. And for her, my heart is filling up with happiness.

Or the friend of the husband, who stepped in, to show him what he was about to lose. His beautiful children, his caring wife, his picture perfect house and life. It was all going to go away because he couldn't keep his hands off his check book. He offered support, sat with the husband when he faced his wife, and children to admit he had a problem. He went and visited his friend every day while he was away making himself better for his family, and was there to take care of the family in his absence. A true friend who didn't judge, who didn't mock, or ruin, someone who truly cared about his friend. He too helped the light shine just a little through these shady windows.

And the officer, who came to the aid of a little boy. He was visiting his “friend” and was alone, and terrified. The officer came in, carried that boy in his arms and told him the nightmare was over. He put silver bracelets on the man, and made him walk, in front of all the neighborhood for everyone to see the monster I always knew was in there. The streets were full of “I had no idea” and “He was always so sweet”, but those are the scariest of monsters. The ones that blend in, the ones that make you feel welcome. That officer got a medal, and even though the damage was done with the boy...he always knew there was a hero looking out for him. He wasn't alone in that dark basement. He had a guardian angel looking out for him.

So here I sit in my dark room. But I like it in here. I like being able to hear a persons soul. There are no masks, there are no cover ups.

Some people think being born blind is a disadvantage, but from where I sit, my handicap, is a blessing. For my windows are my eyes. Broken and blank, but seeing more than a person with sight can see,